The Gorilla Family Allocation Process
How is gorilla family allocation process done in Uganda? Mountain gorilla families are situated in different locations some live on higher altitudes while others prefer lower altitudes making some families hard to trek and others easy to trek. Gorilla family members also have different characters some are peaceful while others are not. One should keep in mind that mountain gorillas move so they have to be found, it is a chance to find a gorilla family in less than an hour after the trek begins because some clients spend many hours in the wild looking for these giant apes.
The gorilla allocation process is based on interests, age, physical abilities and so much more, mountain gorillas move in search of food all day and only rest during midday and forage again in the afternoon before building nests to sleep in the evening.
Uganda used to allocate gorilla families according to the interests of the tourists because there was a lot of information about each gorilla family on the internet, tourists would read and pick interests in any family of their choice but this led to some gorilla families being most visited and others hardly visited and some tourists would not trek another group except their choice this had to chance.
Uganda abolished the allocation of gorilla permits per family and introduced allocation per region, the permits are now allocated according to age, physical fitness, and so many other reasons. Tourists can book permits from any sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and these are Rushaga sector, Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, and Nkuringo sector.
Tourists have a choice of choosing which region to trek mountain gorillas from but not choosing a gorilla group, after choosing a region you can then be allocated to a gorilla family of your choice on the day of trekking according to your choice but age, and physical fitness will also be considered.
Trackers always go to the forest first to search where several mountain gorillas groups are located where they slept the previous night and communicate using radio calls to the people at the headquarters about the location of the gorilla family. After getting the information they will then allocate individuals to trek each family for example old people who are not physically fit will trek the nearest gorilla family.
It’s also important to note that children under the age of 15 years and infected persons with flu, cough, and diarrhea are also not allowed to trek mountain gorillas, mountain gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases and when they are infected, they can easily die in big numbers. Do not book permits or trek mountain gorillas when you are sick. When booking permits you should ask for the availability of permits in the sector you would want to trek from.
Gorilla families in various sectors
Buhoma sector situated in the north of park has Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla family, Rushengura gorilla family, and Katwe gorilla family.
Nkuringo sector in the south of the park has Nkuringo gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, Bushaho gorilla family, and Christmas gorilla family.
Rushaga sector situated in the east of the park has Bitukura gorilla family, Orugozo gorilla family, Kyaguriro gorilla family, and Mukiza gorilla family.
Rushaga sector located in the south of the park has Mishaya gorilla family, Nsongi gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Bikyingi gorilla family, Kutu gorilla family, Mucunguzi gorilla family, and Busingye gorilla family.
If you are trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, you should always book accommodation facilities from the area you have obtained a gorilla permit from, this is because Bwindi national park has got four gorilla trekking sectors located in different positions such as Nkuringo, Buhoma, Rushaga, and Ruhija so you might end up driving for 2-3 hours to start point early morning if you book a permit and a lodge in different sectors.
The price of gorilla permits differs in every country, Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 per person per trek, Uganda charges $700 foreign nonresidents, $600 foreign residents, and shs250,000 east African citizens, and $1500 gorilla habituation while DR Congo gorilla permits cost $450 in the dry season and $200 in the rainy season.